10 Common Advertising Mistakes That\\\'ll Waste Your Money-- Part One
Frank Buddenbrock describes several mistakes most advertisers make when assembling their marketing materials. Correct these mistakes and see a remarkable improvement in your advertising effectiveness.
If you're like most advertisers, you are on the hunt constantly for the ideal vehicle that'll get your message in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Where can you get the most bang for your http://www.findanexpertonline.com/directory/index.php?cat=121”>advertising buck? A newspaper ad? Magazine ad? A brochure? Email with an html message? Direct mail?
Regardless of which vehicle that's chosen, too many ads fail to answer your prospect's primary concern, "What's In It For Me?" When your ads don't answer that question, your prospect will not respond, and there goes your money, usually lots of money.
Don't http://www.findanexpertonline.com/directory/index.php?cat=148”>write another ad, brochure, email, flyer or direct mail piece until you correct the costly mistakes you're making. To be sure there are more than just ten mistakes, but here are the first five of ten of the most damaging ones most advertisers make trying to persuade prospects to plunk down their hard-earned cash.
Check to see how many of these mistakes you or your company make. Once you've identified them you'll have a better idea of how to fix them.
Mistake No. 1. Not Focusing On The Most Important Person In Any Sale- The Prospect
You'll see it over and over again: ads that are just a vehicle for the ego of the advertiser. They'll brag about their fancy brochure, their slick ad, or their clever direct mail piece, ignoring the most important person in any sale- the prospect.
The ONLY reason for having http://www.findanexpertonline.com/directory/index.php?cat=43”>marketing literature is to get a prospect to connect with you so that you can do what's necessary to sell him what you've got.
Mistake No. 2. Your Marketing Materials Are Too "Me"- Oriented, not Prospect-Oriented
You spend too much time, and money, talking about you and your company, and not about what your company can do for your prospect. I continually see brochures and ads that drone on and on extolling the virtues of the company.
When you http://www.findanexpertonline.com/directory/index.php?cat=148”>write your http://www.findanexpertonline.com/directory/index.php?cat=43”>marketing materials, put yourself in your prospect's shoes. He cares only about himself, and how your company's product or service is going to make his life better. Or how your product or service is going to take away some of his anxieties.
Why should the prospect care if the size of your warehouse is 30,000 square feet? Does that make your product more effective, ease his worries, or enhance his life?
Show the prospect the benefits he'll receive by buying your product or service. Square footage is not a benefit to your prospect.
Use every device you can think of to get him to contact you. Show him that you care about him, his wants, his desires.
When you consider that the typical prospect is plagued by more than 7,500 http://www.findanexpertonline.com/directory/index.php?cat=43”>marketing messages per week, you'd think that advertisers would want to make every attempt to grab even the slimmest slice of time from their prospects, but you'll see it again and again. Too many ads that fail to answer the prospect's primary concern, "What's in it for me?"
Mistake No. 3. You Fail To Develop Any Kind Of Consistent Advertising Campaign
Do you hope to score big with a single promotion rather than a well-thought-out and well-planned http://www.findanexpertonline.com/directory/index.php?cat=121”>advertising campaign? Maybe you haven't really thought it through, the reasons why a prospect may not buy your product or service after seeing your ad ONE time.
What if they never saw it? Perhaps their magazine got lost in the mail, was incorrectly delivered, or didn't come this month. It does happen. Or perhaps your brochure got inadvertently delivered to a neighbor who never walks it over to the correct address. What if your prospect was on vacation?
Maybe money's a little tight this month and your prospect will just wait until next month when they see your ad a second time. Will there be a second time? Will you let the opportunity for a second chance slip away? Why would you give up after only one ad?
Repetition breeds familiarity and credibility. If you contact your prospect only one time, or they see your message only once, how will they know if you're still around? Your prospect is anxious enough about making a wrong decision. You become a high-risk choice if they see your materials only one time.
Take a hint from the big boys. We all know Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Ford, Tide, and Hilton. But they still run their ads, everywhere, and over and over again.
Mistake No. 4. Your Headline Doesn't Grab Your Prospect
Too many headlines say nothing. Take a look at this headline for a full-page color ad for a San Diego engineering firm- "San Diego Pride."
Who does that appeal to? What does it mean? Is there a group of lions in San Diego?
What's in it for me?
Apparently the http://www.findanexpertonline.com/directory/index.php?cat=148”>writer of this ad forgot that the headline is the most important element of any ad or brochure, or in fact, any http://www.findanexpertonline.com/directory/index.php?cat=43”>marketing material. It represents at least 50-75% of the advertisement, some experts would say even more. Effective headlines identify the prospect and satisfy his self-interest. They arouse his curiosity, give him new information, or offer solutions to his problems.
Look at the headline for the engineering firm's ad again. It's a good lesson in what not to do. Who does it identify? What self-interest does it satisfy? I'd guess this ad did very poorly. The worst thing is that the advertiser probably doesn't blame the ad or its headline for the poor result. They'll probably run the same ad again, probably in a different publication hoping for a better response.
Mistake No. 5. Your Headline Doesn't Offer Your Prospect A Benefit
Take a look at the headline for this article. I've identified my prospects (advertisers), and through implication offered a benefit (once they're aware of the mistakes they're making, they can fix them). I've teased you by offering only half of the whole package. You're probably wondering what the other mistakes are so that you can fix them, too.
Don't forget- that's what prospects want to see- benefits, benefits, and more benefits. If what you've written doesn't appeal to your prospect's self- interest, he'll just move on, completely forgetting you. And that hurts. Especially in the pocketbook.
These are just some of the mistakes made by the majority of marketers who then wonder why their http://www.findanexpertonline.com/directory/index.php?cat=121”>advertising rarely seems to pay off. Keep these mistakes in mind the next time you write any http://www.findanexpertonline.com/directory/index.php?cat=43”>marketing documents, from emails to brochures and ads, from media kits to proposals, and from newsletters to direct response mailings.
In part two of this article I'll share five additional money-wasting mistakes.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frank Buddenbrock is president of findanexpertonline.comhttp://www.findanexpertonline.com">findanexpertonline.com>, an online community of experts, specialists, professionals, consultants, coaches, instructors, and gurus.
A constant and curious student, Frank is always learning and looking for ways to make his website your first choice for solutions to your problems, and answers to your questions. His website offers answers through a blog, a forum, a directory of experts, an articles directory, a calendar of events, and podcasts with experts.
A past officer of IWOSC (Independent Writers of Southern California), Frank enjoys writing on a number of subjects with an emphasis on business solutions.